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There are several ATO tax deductions small business owners frequently overlook. Businesses need to become more aware of all of the deductions they are entitled to in order to maintain a healthy bottom line.

When completing your tax return, you can deduct things like education and travel expenses as well as internet and mobile phone expenses if they pertain to your individual situation, as deductions vary depending upon certain specifics. The following list details some of the most commonly overlooked tax deductions that you can claim when completing your tax return.

Types of Tax Deductions

Work-Related Expenses

In order to claim a work-related deduction, you must have spent the money yourself. If you were reimbursed by your employer, you are not able to deduct that expense. You must also have record to prove those expenses directly related to your work.

A few possible deductions include:

  • Home Office Expenses
  • Tools, Equipment & Supplies
  • Clothing, Laundry & Dry-Cleaning Expenses
  • Vehicle & Travel Expenses
  • Phone & Internet Expenses
  • Work-Related Meals
  • Self-Education Expenses

Gifts & Donations

If you make one or more donations of $2 or more, you can claim a tax deduction on charitable organisations with a receipt.

Stock & Inventory

For this deduction, you will need to look at your damaged or outdated stock, record it and write it off. This is going to impact your profit margins and the value of your stock.

Sun Protection

If you are required to work outside for an extended period of time, you can qualify for a tax deduction for sunglasses.

However, if the sunglasses cost more than $300, the ATO expects that they will last more than 12 months, so you will need to claim the depreciation on the sunglasses, rather than an upfront deduction.


You are entitled to claim a deduction for the cost of cleaning occupation-specific clothing, uniforms as well as the cost of buying them.

Internet & Phone

As a business owner, you can claim the cost of your work-related phone calls. Keep a logbook to determine the average percentage of phone calls that are truly work-related. If you ever work from home, you can claim your internet expenses as well as a deduction.

Car Expenses

If you are a business owner and use your own personal car for work-related reasons aside from driving back and forth to work, you can usually claim fuel as well as maintenance fees as a tax deduction. You must, however, be the owner of the car and travel must be during your working day.

Union Fees

If you pay union fees each year, you are qualified for a deduction under D5-Other work related expenses.

Rental Property

If you’re the owner of a rental property, you can claim for pest control, lawn care and landscaping, bank fees, secretarial fees, security patrol fees, travel and car expenses, inspections, rent collection and maintenance.